Another month, another instalment of being confused with Jean! I’m writing this entry during the week before the university closes for Christmas so things are winding down as we get ready for the winter break.
My lit report is finally done (yay!) and I am really looking forward to the time off. The blood, sweat, and tears that went into writing this single report makes me glad to get report writing out of the way (until I start writing my continuation report at the end of the academic year at least). This report has been a good opportunity for me to learn a lot of things: from figuring out the workflow that works best for me when reading papers, to keeping notes and managing references.
Lab life has been a whirlwind of trying to figure out why my cells are dying when they’re not supposed to, which hasn’t been successful so far so I’ll need some time in January to figure things out before I can move forward with other work. Western blots which used to be the bane of my existence actually turn out alright in my hands now, I am particularly proud of a blot that I did recently because of how beautifully the bands turned out. It is now immunofluorescence that is the new bane of my existence but oh well, I will conquer it in January.
I got the cutest secret Santa gift from someone in the lab which also serves as a timely reminder saying: “If I knew what I was doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”
The time off will be good for me to come back to PhD work with fresh eyes. I am starting to plan my project out with a more thesis-oriented view in mind so I already have a general plan as to what I will be doing in 2023.
In terms of non-PhD things, I’ve started teaching at the university karate club more this semester and almost all our new white belts have graded and gotten a coloured belt! I’ve taught almost every member who graded so to say that I’m proud of all their hard work is an understatement. We also have support from the university sport office to go ahead with an initiative to support more students to join the club at a lower cost so with that, competitions and international squad tryouts coming up it is really exciting for us as a committee.
For AIM UK, the non-profit for international medics in the UK which I lead, we have recently assembled the team to co-create an international med student guide for release next academic year so more exciting things to look forward to! If you would like to get involved in work for the guide, there are still positions available on the marketing or graphics teams which we will be recruiting for in the coming months. We are also looking for external reviewers of content in drafts of the guide which is an opportunity to get involved with less time commitment required so keep an eye out for a call for that in the coming months by following us on social media! I have linked our details above :)
Over the winter break I will be focusing on more creative endeavours e.g. writing for this blog, reading more and finally completing my karate Instructor Qualification - I hope you have a restful Christmas period whether you celebrate it or not and I will be back soon with more blog posts!
Lots of love,